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Prescription of asthma drugs dropped significantly
In the run-up to today's World Asthma Day, the information service provider Insight Health announced that the prescription of asthma medications (anti-asthmatics) decreased significantly last year. Across Germany, doctors issued around 0.6 million fewer prescriptions for asthma than in 2009.
Doctors throughout Germany issued a total of 15 million prescriptions for asthma medications last year, a reduction of more than half a million prescriptions compared to the previous year. According to the experts, this is a positive development, but part of the decline is only due to more precise diagnostics.
Falling prescriptions for asthma medication give encouraging signal? Medical market research company Insight Health said that prescription of asthma medication dropped significantly in 2009. Of the 15 million prescriptions last year, more than three quarters were for the three drug groups of short-acting beta-2 stimulants, steroid hormones (corticosteroids) and the combination of long-term active beta-2 stimulants and corticosteroids. According to market researchers, the short-acting beta-2 stimulants are used to avoid shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, steroid hormones are used to reduce respiratory infections and the combination of long-acting beta-2 stimulants and corticosteroids is used in particularly severe asthma - Diseases prescribed. The fact that the prescriptions in all three main groups of prescribed anti-asthmatics have decreased significantly is regarded by both market researchers and doctors as a positive signal.
Increase in prescriptions for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases However, the increase in prescriptions for medicinal products for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is clouding the positive development in antiasthmatics. According to "Insight Health", the regulations in the area of COPD rose to 8.0 million in 2010. According to the market research company, this is probably also due to the improved differential diagnosis between the symptoms of asthma and COPD. For example, people who were formerly treated as asthmatics are increasingly being assigned to COPD today. In addition, some new drugs, such as roflumilast, tiotropium and indacaterol, have been introduced to treat COPD, causing prescriptions to increase automatically, a spokesman for Insight Health said. For example, the experts were hardly surprised at the significant increase in regulations in the area of COPD.
Changing attitudes of treating physicians? The decline in prescriptions for asthma medication is, however, at least partly due to the changed attitude of the treating doctors. More and more doctors are looking for possible alternatives before starting medication for asthma. Therapy also focuses on determining the causes of asthma. After all, slight changes in everyday life - such as changing eating habits, increased fluid intake or avoiding stress - can often bring about a significant relief from symptoms. (fp)
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